Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Title/Author: Feast: Harvest of Dreams by Merrie Destefano.

Genre: Urban Fantasy.

Publisher: Harper Voyager.

Source: Netgalley.

Favorite character: Elspeth.

Favorite quote: “…the moon wooed me with a dark song of Harvest.” ~Thane.

All in all: Not all of it worked for me, but it was unique and I couldn’t put it down by the end.

Synopsis: Halloween is a bad time to return to the woods . . .

Madeline MacFaddin ("Mad Mac" to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she's always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.

But Maddie doesn't remember the dark parts—and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area's terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the harvest . . . the time to feast.

Once again Maddie's dreams—and her soul—are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own . . .~Amazon.com

My Thoughts: I have to admit that I went into reading Feast with high expectations. I read Afterlife last year and absolutely loved it. I enjoyed Feast for the most part, but not as much as much as I hoped I would.  I had to ask myself if I compared Feast too much to Afterlife.  The answer is; "I'm not sure".  I admit I was looking for that same experience.  But the two books are like siblings, they have the same style and format, but are very different stories and therefore impossible to expect the same things from.

Although in Afterlife the surreal writing style seemed to lend itself well to a strange, uncertain and almost alien future, in Feast, it confused me a bit more. As I’ve said in previous posts, I don’t need everything spelled out to get the basics of a story, but I would have liked to be able to understand more.

What I do love about Destefano is that she doesn’t write like anyone else. It’s as if she’s presenting you with a puzzle and you need to go along with the ride. There were mysteries that were explained using language with more mysteries. I felt as if I were opening up box upon box to get to the truth. In this book, sometimes I liked this aspect of her storytelling because it is so compelling and other times I felt as if I didn’t get the answers I needed to understand what was happening.

The author created a new creature, a new legend. Their motives aren’t always easy to figure out, or their world, or even the curse that one of them is under. So don’t frustrate yourself by trying to fit them into a category of familiar monsters in our culture, just accept them and be scared, enthralled and mesmerized.

I understand a lot of people didn’t like the different points of view in Afterlife, and Feast is written in the same style. While it served the story, I wasn’t interested in all of the characters as much as others and I wonder if the novel would have been tighter if some people or creatures were taken out.

I did like Ash and Maddie, the two main protagonists. There is not much romance, but there is attraction and I have a feeling that thread will continue in the novels to come. I would have believed Maddie more if she showed more surprise to the events happening around her.  I'm sure there are people who calmly accept supernatural occurences, but since I didn't know her that well, I questioned that she accepted it. 

My favorite character however, is Elspeth, Ash’s daughter. She is not featured prominently but she had an integral role to the story. I thought she had an intriguing origin and I liked her voice the best actually. In the few chapters she had I felt like I got to know her and her character and became intrigued.

Even with the issues I had, I do want to point out that the last third of the story is when the action really picks up and I couldn’t put the book down. The language is also exquisite. The descriptions of the mountains, the night sky, even the creatures were beautiful and thoughtful. Destefano paints magic with words.

If you do try Feast, bear in mind that it is very different in style and format than most books out there. I believe that Merrie Destefano thinks outside the box and colors outside the lines.



Missie, The Unread Reader said...

Well, I'm intrigued by this idea of the author creating creatures that can't be categorized. It is hard to pull that off, and I'm sure I'd frighten by the unknown.

And I totally got what you meant when you describe the two books being like siblings. Makes perfect sense. I really like how illustrative this story sounds. It's great hearing that the author is not afraid to add color all over. I just may have to give the series a try. Thanks Pam.

Unknown said...

Im not sure Im interested in this one =/

Great review hon!

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